A Report Card on the New Zealand Labour Market: Improving, Could do Better


  • David Grimmond Department of Labour




The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the performance of the New Zealand labour market in recent years. In particular how has the performance during the current economic cycle (defined here as since 1996) compared with that in two earlier cycles (1984 to 1989 and 1989 to 1996)? I adopt a broad definition of labour market performance, one that is consistent with the Department of Labour's overarching objective to have New Zealanders enjoying high quality working lives in thriving and inclusive communities. In taking a wide focus, this paper goes for breadth ahead of depth. I provide observations along a wide range of indicators, but often cannot provide robust explanations for these observations. In these instances the main aim of the paper is to highlight areas where more in-depth research is warranted. From this broad but reasonably shallow analysis one gets a remarkably consistent theme: the performance of the New Zealand labour market has improved markedly during the 1990s but there is still scope for further improvements.


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Author Biography

David Grimmond, Department of Labour

Labour Market Policy Group